One of the most popular ways to earn extra cash at home is to make money with paid survey sites. There are plenty of sites out there that allow users to do this. Here's our Valued Opinions review.
Online surveys can be a great way of making a bit of extra cash from home. You'll need to be a certain type of person with time to spare but they can actually be quite enjoyable and, while the reward for each survey is usually small, the amounts can soon add up.
Using online surveys to make money
There are pros and cons to using any online survey site to make money. The advantages are 1. They can be done in your own time and from home. 2. No skills or experience is required. 3. There is no cost or time commitment. The disadvantages are: 1. The amounts earned for each survey is low, usually just a few pence. 2. Not everyone is suitable for every survey and you are likely to end up answering questions only to find out you are not able to complete the survey. 3. You will need to be prepared to offer personal information to companies.
This Valued Opinions review aims to give you an insight into one of the leading paid survey portals.
How much can I earn with paid survey sites?
At Valued Opinions, each survey has a reward fee, which is clearly displayed before you start.
The reward for each survey varies, from 75p up to £5. Valued Opinions will ask you some questions to find out more about you, for which you don't get paid. There is no limit on the amount of surveys you can complete and, therefore, the amount you can earn.
There is also a badge system, where users can progress from bronze, silver, gold, platinum and diamond. Users can earn badges by completing surveys and their user profile. To maintain a badge status, regular surveys must be taken.
Extra rewards can be redeemed for badge-earners.
How do I get paid?
You can redeem your rewards in vouchers when you reach a threshold of £8. Some of the gift cards cost slightly more in Valued Opinions credit than their value - for example the £15 Amazon card will cost £15.50 in credit.
There are more than 20 voucher types to choose from. At the time of writing, the following brands are featured:
- Dorothy Perkins
- John Lewis
- Miss Selfridge
- TX Maxx
- Several charity donations
How long do the surveys take?
The estimated duration for each survey is displayed before you start. Typically, these estimates are from 15 to 20 minutes. Some will take longer and some will be shorter.
With some surveys, you will have to answer questions to determine your suitability, for which you will not receive a reward.
Some surveys can take an hour or more and, generally, the longer the survey takes, the bigger the reward.
Surveys can be done on mobile, tablet and desktop, though some require Flash and have audio or video.
On this, Valued Opinions says: "We try to ask such questions as gender, age, location at the start of each survey because we look for different types of people to answer surveys.
"You may not qualify for a survey for many different reasons based around your answers to the first few questions (demographic criteria and/or consumer habits). We make sure that we place questions that could disqualify our panellists from the survey at the beginning."
Is my data protected?
Well, not really. Valued Opinions is a market research vehicle and the whole idea of the site is to pass on the opinions of different demographic to its partners. Data collected from incomplete surveys will not be passed on.
Some surveys will even ask to access your webcam to monitor your facial reactions, but you do not have to grant permission for this.
Signing up to Valued Opinions
You can sign-up with Facebook or fill in a form that's not too arduous. You then have to click the link on the confirmation email to prove you're a real person.
Getting set up
Once you're logged in, you can either spend time setting up your profile or dive straight into a survey.
The profile asks questions such as your annual income, education level, and ethnicity. Valued opinions says this will help you find surveys that match your interests.
If you're planning on doing a lot of surveys, it's probably worth taking the time to fill out the your profile as comprehensively as possible. This will reduce the amount of surveys that you are unsuitable for and, hopefully, mean less time time is wasted.
A more complete profile will also mean you get offered more surveys.
If you're not the type who likes to give away too much information, then online surveys probably aren't for you but you can choose 'prefer not to answer' for any of the questions in the profile.
Basically, users are offered surveys to complete based on their profiles.
A list of general topics will be displayed on the dashboard of your account. You then have to answer a series of questions to find a suitable survey.
You will also receive invitations to surveys via email.
These questions take about two minutes before you are shown the details of the survey you will take - including how long it takes and the reward.
After you click 'start survey' only then will you find out which company or organisation you are answering a survey for.
Not all users will be eligible for all surveys. For example, some companies only want to hear from users of a certain age, with certain responsibilities in their job or of a particular marital status.
This is one of the most frustrating aspects of the service - you can spend a few minutes getting to the actual survey and answering a few questions before being told you are not suitable to continue.
You are taken to the survey directly, for you to then complete it.
You can take as long as you like, don't worry about leaving your device. One of the beauties of making money from online surveys is that you can do it at the same time as other tasks.
When you have completed the survey, there's even a survey about the survey to complete, if you're really keen.
Resist the temptation just to click anything - try to answer honestly and accurately. It's almost just as quick and it's a good habit to get into.
How the badges work at Valued Opinions
Bronze members are just getting started. To reach Bronze status, all you have to do is sign up and activate your account.
To reach Silver status, you must:
- Complete 25% of their survey profile
- Take one survey in the last week
- Complete their first survey
To reach Gold, members must:
- Complete 50% of their survey profile
- Take a survey on two consecutive weeks
- Complete their 10th survey
Platinum members are active and regular survey takers who have almost completed their survey profile.
To reach Platinum status, members must:
- Complete 75% of their survey profile
- Take a survey on three consecutive weeks
- Complete their 25th survey
Diamond members have reached the top level. They have a complete survey profile, have completed fifty surveys (or more) and maintain regular survey activity.
To reach Diamond status, members must:
- Complete 100% of their survey profile
- Take a survey on four consecutive weeks
- Complete their 50th survey
Top tips for using Valued Opinions
- Give honest answers - don't lie or just click anything
- Complete your profile to unlock more surveys
- Answer profile questions liberally - for example if you are slightly interested in a topic, choose it as it will open up more survey options
- If a survey is long, dip in and out of it - don't feel you have to complete it all at once